PIA, NCCA Launch Kalinaw Kultura Project For Peace And Harmony

The Philippine Information Agency (PIA) in support to National Commission for Culture and Arts launched a four-day "Kalinaw Kultura" (a culture of peace, peace thru culture) on 26-29 July 2018 at Robinsons Place, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte.

This grand launch is one of a kind in the Philippines as it brings together different ethnicity in order to strengthen the unity of culture despite differences in traditions, ethnic groups, and religions, including clothing and cuisines.

In his message, Undersecretary Harold E. Clavite of PIA emphasized the significance of the event as it creates an intensive campaign for cultural peace and unity.

"This Kalinaw Kultura Mindanao event creates cultural awareness, which means understanding the differences between ourselves and people from other regions or other backgrounds especially differences in values, religions, customs, and beliefs," he said.

To express government's full support to Kalinaw Kultura, this is the first time that Presidential Communications Operations Office and its attached agencies namely PTV4, Philippine News Agency, Radio-TV Malacanang, Radyo Pilipinas and all PIA regional and provincial offices carried the event live on facebook pages and other media platforms.

The Kalinaw Kultura Mindanao revved up July 26 with motorcade, press conference, and Mindanao ethnic dance competition dubbed "Kulturatin Mindanayaw Kultura nating mga taga Mindanao ang sayaw" (Dancing is part of Mindanao culture)."

he "battle of dances" is a competition show directed by the Department of Education-Division of Iligan, featuring divergent styles of ethnic outfit swaying to the beat of traditional tribal music.

The Kalinaw Kultura grand launch also showcased the performances of legendary Mindanao theatre groups the Integrated Performing Arts Guild together with Mindanao State University's Sining Kambayoka Ensemble, Kalimulan Cultural Dance Troupe, Kapagintaw Dance Troupe of Iligan Medical Center College, Iligan City Jazz Band, and Buhanginan Voices, among others.

Mindanao's pride Bayang Barrios who hails from Agusan del Sur of Lumad origin, wowed the audience when she combined her ethnic singing and dancing flair.

Likewise, the audience cheered when Princess Jamyllah Zapanta Bantasan performed the "Awit sa Marawi" vocal duet with Bayang Barrios.

In order to develop a deep appreciation of Mindanao culture through observation and experience, the local government of Iligan affords a traditional "Pagana Maranao" dinner to give the guests an opportunity to witness and appreciate the traditional dinner feast of Maranao tribe.

The Puppet Theater group of PIA also showed off its knacks that amazed both schoolchildren and adults in its puppet show in various public schools and parks in Iligan City.

The Department of Trade and Industry, for its part, set up the "Bangon Marawi" and "Kultourismo" exhibit where ethnocultural paintings, architectural ornaments, indigenous handicrafts, and wood carvings, among other products of Marawi IDPs and Iligan's contemporary artists, were showcased.

To intensify promotion of "Peace Culture" through this "Kalinaw Kultura," PIA pooled some experts from the academe, local government, and youth to tackle issues on conflict and peace.

Professor Steven Patrick Fernandez, MSU-IIT Director for Culture and Arts Studies talked about Culture and Peace; Iligan City's youngest councilor Sorilie Christine Bacsarpa discussed issues on Culture Appreciation among Youth; and DepEd's Education Program Supervisor Virginia Nadayag discussed concerns on Culture and Education.

Iligan City acting mayor Jemar Vera Cruz, in his inspiring message, lauded the government for crafting the concept of this Kalinaw Kultura project.

"We, in the local government unit of Iligan are very much proud that the Philippine Information Agency instigated this Kalinaw Kultura. This shows that the government is giving utmost importance in promoting peace and unity through cultural understanding. Likewise, this provides a source for tourism programs. By promoting the culture of unity in diversity, it also boosts Iligan City's economic activities," the mayor said.

As the four-day colorful and vivacious Kalinaw Kultura event caps, Poppert Bernadas, a theater personality and "Voice Philippines" challenger, whizzed the audience as he and Jemsha Zhaiba Bantasa rendered the "Awit sa Marawi" duet.

This maiden event marked the beginning of a series of Kalinaw Kultura campaign in four other regions in Mindanao namely CARAGA, DAVAO, SOCCSKSARGEN, and Zamboanga Peninsula.

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